Rotorua police will be carrying out regular patrols of the central city and Kuirau Park as they investigate a sex attack on a woman who was grabbed and assaulted by two men in the park. Police are appealing for information about a sexual assault on a Rotorua woman in her 40s, which happened between 2.30am and 3am yesterday. Police say the victim was walking home through Kuirau Park after an evening out with friends when she was grabbed by the two men and assaulted.
A Rotorua 9-year-old is among the 73 students who were stood down or suspended for drug-related incidents in Rotorua schools last year. This is nearly double the national average of 42, when compared with the same number of students. New Zealand Secondary Schools Principals' Association president and John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said the high number of stand-downs and suspensions was a worry for the Rotorua community.
Mt Tongariro has erupted for the first time in more than a century. The volcanic alert level for the mountain has risen from one to two after it erupted late last night. GNS science is reporting that at about 11.50pm on Monday night ash fall began to be reported in the volcano's vicinity - it has since been reported as far east as SH5 near Te Haroto and in Napier.
Ohope golden girl Lisa Carrington has given her home town a night it will never forget. About 150 people gathered at the Whakatane Surf Lifesaving Club on Ohope Beach on Saturday night to watch kayaker Carrington take gold in the K1 200m final. Club member Grant Muru said everyone screamed at the top of their voices throughout the 44-second race, erupting in cheers when the 23-year-old edged ahead to claim gold.
Dozens of families of workers at the Norske Skog Tasman Mill in Kawerau face an uncertain future as the company looks to cut costs. The mill's 300 employees were told yesterday that the company proposed to close down one of the pulp and paper mill's two paper machines. There are fears at least 35 jobs will be cut as a result, with many more possible.
A young disabled boy who made headlines in March when he was left unattended on a school bus for almost five hours has died. Daniel Ramanui, 7, who had cerebral palsy, died in his mother's arms on Tuesday and was farewelled at a funeral yesterday. Children lined the streets of Kawerau and broke into a heartfelt haka as the hearse carrying his body drove past. Daniel made national headlines after he was left alone in a school bus for hours.
Te Teko's Luke Tamatea, who was killed in Afghanistan with two other New Zealand soldiers, died doing what he loved. Corporal Tamatea, 31, was killed on Sunday along with two other soldiers when the vehicle he was in was hit by an explosive device in Bamiyan. News of the deaths has sparked fresh debate about whether the Government should pull Kiwi soldiers out of Afghanistan, prompting Rotorua resident Pupuru Knight to launch an online campaign to withdraw our troops.
As petrol prices hike to an all-time high, Rotorua motorists are gassing up on the cheapest petrol prices in the country, some well below the cost price of the fuel. Overnight on Tuesday, Z stations throughout the country lifted the price of fuel 3 cent per litre, pushing prices to above $2.20 per litre. However, Rotorua motorists can fill up for less than $2 per litre, paying only $1.999 at some local service stations for 91 octane.
The Rotorua man dubbed the runaway millionaire who stole more than $6.7 million from Westpac succumbed to a modern temptation, his lawyer told the Rotorua District Court. Hui "Leo" Gao, 31, was sentenced to four years and seven months' jail after he previously pleaded guilty to seven charges of theft. His partner at the time, Kara Hurring, 33, was sentenced to nine months' home detention and ordered to pay $11,830 reparation after she was found guilty of 25 charges of theft. She was also found guilty of three charges of attempting to dishonestly use a document and two charges of money laundering.